Paul Watson Sends Supporters His First Letter From Exile

© Eric Cheng/Sea Shepherd

We still don't know where Paul Watson is, now that he's skipped bail and left Germany, but the Sea Shepherd founder has issued his first communication to supporters.

Watson gives no specific details as to his location, only saying he is "presently in a place on this planet where I feel comfortable, a safe place far away from the scheming nations who have turned a blind eye to the exploitation of our oceans."

He then goes on accuse former Sea Shepherd crew member Pete Bethune of providing "fabricating evidence" to Japanese authorities, who are allegedly negotiating with Germany to extradite him to Japan, rather than Costa Rica.

Watson's reading of the situation regarding his extradition:

Japan had previously tried to have me arrested by Interpol for the Bethune incident but Interpol refused their request for a 'red' notification, allowing them only a 'blue' notice, meaning that countries could report my movements to Japan but could not arrest me.

In December, the President of Costa Rica met with the Prime Minister of Japan. I had attended the Hamburg Film Festival in November 2011 without being arrested in Germany. In March I traveled to Spain and France without incident. Yet in May of 2012, I was arrested in Germany on an extradition warrant from Costa Rica. And what I found was that Costa Rica, like Japan, had issued an Interpol notice and Interpol at the end had dismissed the request.

Germany however, a country without an extradition treaty with Costa Rica or Japan, decided to apprehend me on what they described was a bilateral agreement with Costa Rica. This, of course, caught Japan's attention and they began negotiations to apply directly to Germany with a request for my extradition. That request by Japan was approved by Germany on July 23rd, 2012. I was alerted to this by reliable sources on July 22nd.

If taken in custody in Japan, Watson believes he "will never be released." It's this, Watson says, was the impetus for his flight from Germany, stating that to him "it is obvious that the German government conspired with Japan and Costa Rica to detain me so that I could be handed over to the Japanese...This was never really about Costa Rica. It has been about Japan all along."

There's certainly some plausibility in Watson's reading of the situation, vis a vis Germany, Costa Rica, and Japan. But there's also no verification of any of it—that Japan has actually negotiated with Germany and/or Costa Rica to arrange for Watson's arrest, that Bethune provided information to Japan to specifically assist with this—at least publicly and in the specific details. Until that information comes to light, Watson's allegations, however possible and plausible, have to be taken merely as that, allegations.

Tags: Activism | Whales

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